Durbin, Duckworth Statement On Rauner Administration's Plans For Next Steps At IVH Quincy

For months, Senators pressed Gov. Rauner for a detailed plan of action to mitigate Legionnaires’ at the home

CHICAGO – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released the following statement regarding the release of Governor Bruce Rauner’s plan of action for ensuring the safety of residents, family, and staff at the Illinois Veterans’ Home (IVH) Quincy:

“The need for a detailed plan of action is critical and long overdue given the multiple outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease at IVH Quincy that have sickened more than 65 residents and killed 13 over the past three years.  The ideas in this plan are not new or revolutionary – in fact, all of the recommendations have been suggested for years and have been ignored by this Administration for far too long.  It is unclear why it took so long for the Administration to come to this conclusion, but now that it has, we urge Governor Rauner to finally provide leadership on this crisis and implement these changes before another resident or staff member falls ill or dies. 

“As members of Illinois’ congressional delegation, we will continue to advocate for State Veterans Homes like IVH Quincy and push for federal funding, just as we did in the Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill, as well as technical assistance on their behalf.  But now it is up to the Rauner Administration to do its part and carry out this plan of action immediately so that every veteran and staff member whose life is entrusted to the state of Illinois is in a safe facility.” 

In letters to Gov. Rauner in January and March, Durbin and Duckworth repeatedly pressed for a detailed plan of action for ensuring the safety of residents, family, and staff at IVH Quincy.  They have also pushed for continued technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The VA is planning to soon conduct a site visit to IVH Quincy at the request of Durbin and Duckworth. 

Durbin and Duckworth also secured additional federal funding in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus that was passed last month, which could be used for funding construction projects at state-run veteran health facilities like IVH Quincy.